Friday, May 11, 2012

C is for control

Control as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary is, “to exercise restraint or to direct influence over.”

 For instance, when driving on a highway, you exercise restraint by following the rules of the road.  You would drive at a moderate speed to ensure that you are keeping the road safe. This prevents things like accidents which then result in an hour or more of bumper to bumper traffic. Okay, perhaps I am venting a little about my two hour commute for a 45 minute ride out to Amityville today but still, driving is an example of control because the driver is in control of his/her car. 

Another example of control is when you decide to dress up and have a look that makes you look beautiful.  Maybe it is not to impress, but basically because you like to look good.  So you decide that to go out, you want to put your Best Dress On like singer/musician Joan Armatrading; or instead wear a tuxedo.  That is control. Nobody will turn you away from their establishment for dressing improperly because you set the trend; because you come with your own personality and individuality. You’ve got style and that makes you exactly who you are.  A fashionista has control because they control their own image. He also directs influece by making others step up to the plate and care about how they present themselves to the world.

Another example of control is a choir. To be in a choir is not an easy thing. You might have the desire to want to sing, but now you have to really think about it. Okay, I am singing the mezzo parts.  Sometimes even if you want to sing at that range, you might start singing the alto part because you hear the person directly next to you singing it. Then you have to make sure you remember all the words, the parts and the movements that the director taught you; especially if you decide to go out on Court Street and Joralemon in Brooklyn with your school choir to sing in front of hundreds of passersby like the young peaple in the image above. I know; I sung in choirs before and also directed one.  I loved teaching the parts and seeing the final product.  It was a lot of work but it was so fulfilling.   A choir member must control their voice as they sing, for the purpose of being in harmony with the other people in the choir because it is all about unity. A director directs influence over the choir by helping to open up the singer's ears to hear their parts and to get that beautiful final product; the song sung by them and executed well.  

Another example of control is producing music.  I see it as I put together this album that I am finally working on. My producer sits in front of his panel and controls the way he wants everything to sound. He cleans it up and gives the music this quality sound. I have tried it before; sitting in front of a panel and working all night to try to make a track sound clean, only to wake up the next day, listen back and find that it sounds exactly the way it did before you started trying to mix it.  My producer Ack  of Thundertraxx Studios got his thing on lock. He knows what to do and that is control; being able to use your expertise to make things happen right. A producer controls the flow of the track because his job is to create art. He also directs influence by inspiring the singer, rapper or whoever is in the vocal booth to approach the music differently.

I am learning somewhat of control now. Sad to say, that I let myself go a little farther than I’d hoped. A few years back, I gave up meat and rice and started working out seven days a week. In three months time, I lost 50 pounds and went from a size 14 to a six.  As fast as I lost it, I gained it back and even more because control lost its hold on me.  But then recently, my loss of control has taken a turn for the worse; a warning from my doctor telling me that I need to relearn control after crazy things started happening to my own body. And so, in order to prevent my life from being controlled by controlled substances, I have started reclaiming myself and I am doing a tad bit better. I know that God made me stronger than the things that make me turn away from my own health because he built me to know what control is even though I lose my way sometimes.  So I let go and let God lead the way because in all honesty out of all things that I may have control over, I know the truth is that God is in control.

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